In a back and forth game featuring two future Big Ten opponents, the No. 9 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team dropped a tight contest in triple overtime after senior attackman Brandon Benn scored to give No. 13 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays the victory, 10-9 Sunday.
Playing at Homewood Field in Baltimore, the Buckeyes got off to a quick start when junior midfielder Jesse King stung the top right corner just more than a minute into the game.
Despite turning the ball over on their first three possessions, Johns Hopkins knotted things up midway through the first quarter with sophomore attackman Ryan Brown shoveling in a goal from just outside the crease.
After OSU sophomore attackman Carter Brown scored a minute later to give the Buckeyes the lead back, Johns Hopkins countered early in the second quarter when sophomore midfielder Connor Reed tallied his first career goal to tie the game, 2-2.
The Blue Jays struggled to find the back of the cage in the first 30 minutes, but came out on fire in the second half, scoring two goals in the first two minutes to take their first lead of the game.
King then notched his second goal of the game to cut the lead to 4-3 with 10:51 left in the third, snapping a streak of more than 25 minutes without a goal for the Buckeyes.
However, Johns Hopkins would ride the play of junior attackman Wells Stanwick, who finished the game with one goal and five assists, to take an 8-5 lead into the fourth quarter.
Yet the Buckeyes would not go away as King — who tallied career-high five goals and added an assist — scored three of the first four goals in the final frame, with defensemen draped all over him, to cut the Blue Jays’ lead to 9-8 with 4:49 remaining.
Denver transfer, sophomore attackman Gordie Koerber, tied the game less than two minutes later after Johns Hopkins senior midfielder Rob Guida dropped his stick, leaving Koerber wide open from point blank range.
“We really credit ourselves on doing well in the fourth quarter and on our conditioning and fitness,” King said. “Our defense made some stops which really transitions us into getting fired up and putting the ball into the back of the net.”
Still, the Blue Jays showed toughness as they did not let the Buckeyes’ momentum cost them the game.
Although they relinquished a three goal lead late in the fourth, sophomore midfielder Holden Cattoni and the rest of the Johns Hopkins players thought they had scored the potential game-winning goal with 1:19 to play before the goal was overturned because Brown was in the crease.
OSU had problems capitalizing on its man-up opportunities all game, and failing to convert on one at the end of double overtime that carried over to the third overtime proved costly.
Once they prevented OSU from scoring on the man-up advantage, the Blue Jays went back to Benn, and the Chesapeake Bayhawks’ draft pick beat OSU senior goaltender Greg Dutton short side to deliver the Blue Jays a thrilling season-opening victory.
OSU coach Nick Myers said he was proud of the way his team performed in spite of the outcome.
“This is Homewood Field,” Myers said. “This was a tough place to open the season. We knew coming in here how hard this game was going to be and I am real proud of our kids coming in here and fighting the way they did.”
The Buckeyes are slated to be back on the field Sunday to take on Massachusetts in the Moe’s Southwest Grill Classic in Jacksonville, Fla. The game is scheduled for 9 p.m.